But Francis did not despair completely. Even after Francis' death four years later, Francis continued to be Vincent's mentor by way of his writings, in particular his Introduction to the Devout Life and Treatise on the Love of God. St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church, was one of the greatest evangelists and most powerful confessors during the Counter-Reformation. Gallery 2013/2014. He fell into a deep depression and was even bedridden for a time. Well, Francis, as an exemplary confessor, would have known that fear often keeps us from being truly honest about our faults. Following is a list of the principal written works of Francis de Sales: The writings of Francis de Sales set out an easy and safe way to journey towards Christian perfection. This on line retreat of the reproduces the opening selection from the writings of St. Francis de Sales as edited by Father Klauder. Library of St. Francis de Sales by Francis, de Sales, Saint, 1567-1622. courage, Not a false freedom to remain in sin or pursue whatever fleeting fancy he felt but true freedom to be transformed by God into a whole and powerful servant. Francis, freed from doubt, was able to not only examine himself with courage but also to pursue virtue, to pursue the love that had freed him. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them—every day begin the task anew. This page was last edited on 11 July 2014, at 19:56. An emphasis on prayer, and the practice of Repetition of Prayer that Vincent encouraged in the Congregation of the Mission resembled that of Francis in Introduction to the Devout Life. in 1599, he was appointed coadjutor Bishop of Geneva, and in 1602, the Bishop of the diocese. The diocese was also spiritually poor, and a number of parishes were without clergy. St. Francis de Sales. Father Klauder died in January, 2000. Eclectic though Vincent was, all of these influences were integrated into his own life, work, and a personal spirituality of the Church. When advising others on prayer, he tended to be more down to earth. This was the hope Francis was certain of. During his last stay in Paris (November, 1618, to September, 1619) he had to go into the pulpit each day to satisfy the pious wishes of those who thronged to hear him. He loves running, gardening, and watching Star Wars with his kids. © Copyright 2020 Catholic Exchange. This on line retreat of the reproduces the opening selection from the writings of St. Francis de Sales as edited by Father Klauder. He had an intense love for the poor, and his food was plain, his dress and his household simple. St. Francis de Sales was beatified in 1661. Francis wrote, “Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them — every day begin the task anew.” But what does courage have to do with considering imperfections? 175 quotes from Francis de Sales: 'The measure of love is to love without measure. In setting up the Daughters of Charity with Louise de Marillac, Vincent was able to overcome the obstacles that defeated Francis de Sales and found a community of women who were not bound by the cloister. Editor’s note: You can read some of St. Francis’ writings here on Catholic Exchange. This freedom is the freedom of the bienaymés, the beloved ones. For November, Here Are Ten Ways You Can Help the Souls in Purgatory, To Know God is to Love Him (and to Be Loved By Him). When Francis de Sales was a young man at college in Paris, he began to hear discussions and debates on predestination and the nature of salvation. His family experienced some serious financial difficulties during his early life, and the diocese of Geneva, having lost a large amount of property and income in the wars between France and Savoy, was certainly not materially wealthy. "Never", said they, "have such holy, such apostolic sermons been preached." Scripture tells us repeatedly, “Do not be afraid.” Fear leads us away from hope and into sin. He wrote innumerable letters (mainly letters of direction) and found time to publish numerous works. It took place in 1641 on the day that Jane Frances de Chantal died. For the next few years, Francis became well known for his preaching, his conversion of Calvinists, his learning, kindness and holiness. And, despite the scriptural assurances that God does love us passionately even through our sin, we worry that maybe this isn’t true. Vincent had the same vision again as he celebrated Mass after hearing that Jane Frances had died. All rights reserved. Francis had opened up to Vincent the horizons of sanctity and the means to obtain it. These words of love gave Francis freedom. Yet there was a time when Francis was entirely incapacitated by doubt and fear. Together with St. Jane Frances de Chantal, he founded in 1607 the Institute of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin, for young girls and widows who, feeling themselves called to the religious life, had not sufficient strength, or lacked inclination, for the corporal austerities of the great orders. Publication date 1894-Publisher London : Burns & Oates, Ltd. Collection cdl; americana Digitizing sponsor MSN Contributor University of California Libraries Language English Volume 1. Holiness is brought about by love in action. Or we seek affection from others in hurtful ways. By poverty - detaching itself from material possessions - the heart is freed to respond to God's love. Sometimes, we’re embarrassed of our sins. He heard confessions, gave advice, and preached incessantly. His father was François de Sales de Boisy, and his mother was Françoise de Sionnaz, both belonging to old Savoyard aristocratic families. Vincent de Paul came into contact with Francis de Sales in Paris in 1618 or 1619. His zeal extended beyond the limits of his own diocese. Vincent de Paul gave detailed testimony of Francis' life and virtue in the beatification cause. Despite an outward swagger, we harbor a fear that we may be wrong. Francis de Sales came to Paris in November 1618 and remained there for a year on Church and diplomatic (court) business. He reformed the religious communities. His writings on Catholic spirituality still inspire the faithful today and his words still resonate across the centuries. His assurance from God couldn’t be shaken by his Protestant interlocutors so he was able to listen and, in turn, help them hear. He is often featured with the Heart of Jesus and a Crown of Thorns. The eldest of six brothers, Francis was destined for the magistracy and carried out his early studies in rhetoric, literature and theology in Paris under the Jesuits, In 1588 he went to Padua to study law, and received a doctorate. To serve the poor means to free them from the poverty that prevents them being able to respond to God's love. St. Francis de Sales by Fr. Though both his parents belonged to old aristocratic families, Francis de Sales was no stranger to poverty. Though Francis de Sales lived only another four years, his own spirituality and virtue, as well as his writings, especially An Introduction to the Devout Life, and Treatise on the Love of God, were to have a profound influence on Vincent. By his own gentleness, Francis influenced Vincent in regard to overcoming his (Vincent's) own personal disposition of surliness and melancholy, and helped him with a wider vision and more organised effort with regard to the spiritual life and the apostolate. The scorpion who stings us is venomous, but when his oil has been distilled, it is the best remedy for his bite;—even so sin is shameful when we commit it, but when reduced to repentance and confession, it becomes salutary and honourable.”. St. Francis de Sales then consecrated himself to the Virgin Mary, joined the priesthood, and was later installed as Bishop of Geneva, a part of Europe overrun by Protestants at that time. An online retreat based on the book Every Day with St. Francis de Sales. Prayer was oriented to action, and, being a means to holiness, is accessible to all. Catholic Exchange is a project of Sophia Institute Press. Francis de Sales was canonized by Alexander VII in 1665; he was proclaimed Doctor of the Universal Church by Pope Pius IX, in 1877. St. Francis de Sales, ever confident that “God is love” could engage with hostile enemies charitably and with grace. All those who draw inspiration, strength and consolation from the gentle, insightful spirit of St. Francis de Sales are indebted to Father Klauder for taking on this important work. Like Francis, Vincent distinguished between Meditation and Contemplation However, Vincent was more careful when it came to 'supereminent' prayer or ecstasy. He believed that God loved humanity. All those who draw inspiration, strength and consolation from the gentle, insightful spirit of St. Francis de Sales are indebted to Father Klauder for taking on this important work. It is easy to see the influence of Francis de Sales on Vincent de Paul's approach to the poor. Now that he was a lawyer, his father chose for him a suitable Savoyard heiress to be his wife, but Francis decided on the Church. Vincent himself was cautious and practical about this vision, acknowledging that he was not given to seeing visions, and that this was the only one he ever experienced. Francis J. Klauder, a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco, first published this work in 1985. Here he prayed the Memorare prayer and truly was delivered from his crippling doubt. This mercy and love of God is personified in Jesus Christ his Son. He carefully visited the parishes scattered through the rugged mountains of his diocese. But, when we are truly confident in our views, we can listen and respond kindly without defensiveness. Vincent's letters and conferences contain a great many quotations from the writings of Francis de Sales, and references to his ideas. Mortification of the senses should be practised, but mortification of the mind, the will and the heart is more important. Both of these works remained part of Vincent's spiritual reading for himself, and as his recommendations to others. For Francis de Sales there were two major elements in the spiritual life - firstly, a struggle against our lower nature, and secondly, union of our wills with God. Lawrence Lew, OP / Flickr, Tagged as: Discovering ourselves and our limitations is a reason to turn to God. Daniel Stewart is a Catholic dad in the deep south. Rome and the hierarchy circumvented this intention, and the Institute of the Visitation remained cloistered, though with a new form of spirituality. Writings by St. Francis de Sales Treatise on the Love of God This great classic book explains what love of God is, how it begins in us, how it increases or decreases according as we correspond to grace or not, how to distinguish true love of God from an apparent but false love, and how to make progress in love.

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